The West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services (FRIS) is West Virginia's state sexual assault coalition.Established in 1982 and comprised of the state's nine rape crisis centers, FRIS works with all allied professionals to strengthen services and develop intervention and prevention programs to address sexual violence, stalking, and dating violence.The FBI compiles annual crime statistics from law enforcement in all 50 states for its annual Uniform Crime Report.But for reasons that are unclear, West Virginia is one of the few states that do not report crimes that fit in the category of “prostitution/commercialized vice.”“The State Police does aggregate prostitution arrest data, and I do not understand why it hasn’t been forwarded to the FBI,” Cogar said. And it’s troubling.”NBC News has requested those figures from the West Virginia State Police. Thousands of singles join online dating sites every day. View photos and profiles of fun, like-minded singles.
— There was a time when Beth would have laughed if somebody had told her she would wind up selling herself on the streets. And within minutes, a potential john pulled over.“It was this guy who was well-known down there for picking up girls,” Beth said.Sex trafficking “is a crime of opportunity, and the pivot point for that opportunity is opioid addiction,” said Assistant U. Attorney Andrew Cogar.“Pimps often hold out [the] promise of drugs in return for women engaging in prostitution,” he said.“We think that’s fueling a lot of the demand and supply.”It’s hard to quantify just how pervasive a problem prostitution driven by opioid addiction is in West Virginia, a conservative state that gave President Donald Trump a landslide victory in 2016 (68 percent, to 26 percent for Hillary Clinton).The epidemic also drove many desperate women, as well as some men, into the street for cash, lawmakers and police said.“A lot of the addicts are from towns that went bankrupt when the coal industry collapsed,” said Matthew Perry, the Department of Homeland Security’s resident agent in charge, who investigates sex trafficking.“In some places, there just aren’t many other ways to make enough money to support a habit.”While some women in West Virginia choose sex work, others are victims of sex trafficking, forced into prostitution against their will.This website is designed to provide information and resources to both victims and those professionals seeking information to better serve them.Help support the WV FRIS Email: [email protected] note that email is not a confidential form of communication.The group aims to raise awareness about sex trafficking and fight it by developing a network of service providers, victim advocates, agencies and religious organizations to support trafficking victims — and their children, who are straining the state’s foster care system.“I don’t want to lose any women to human trafficking at all, but we stand to lose a generation if we don’t act more forcefully,” warned Barbara Fleischauer, a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates who sits on the task force.Amber's dad told NBC News he fears it may be too late for his daughter."I wish she would go to prison because then I'd know she was alive," he said. “She said, ‘C’mon, just try it one time.’”Five years later, Beth was walking a seedy stretch of Sixth Avenue in Huntington and Amber was watching her back while car after car slowed down to check them out.“I was a little nervous, scared, but I got a pep talk” from Amber, Beth said as she recounted that first night. “I would pretend to absolutely adore somebody to get people to take care of me.”But now she was so desperate for drugs she didn’t care how she got the money. Then her old friend Amber handed her a little green pill.“It was an Oxy 80,” Beth said, using the slang for an 80-milligram tablet of the opioid painkiller Oxycodone. She said, ‘You’re making your own money.’”By that point, Beth said she had already traded sex for drugs with several dealers.(Beth, as well as Amber's family, asked that they not be identified by their full names to protect their privacy.)“I had been used to faking it, wearing a mask to survive,” Beth said.